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Dark humour the formula for Canberra’s most popular library book and DVD

By Glynis Quinlan 7 January 2019

Big Little Lies was the most requested DVD from ACT libraries in 2018. Photo: HBO website.

Dark humour seems to be popular with Canberra’s library goers, with a self-help book displaying “profane, ruthless humour” and a “darkly comedic” television series topping the respective lists of the most requested book and DVD in 2018.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F—: A counterintuitive approach to living a good life by Mark Manson was the most requested book of the year for Libraries ACT last year while Big Little Lies starring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and Shailene Woodley was the most popular DVD.

Mark Manson’s book, which is described as the ‘antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mindset’ is a big hit with Canberrans as it also made the top five list of most requested books in 2017.

“This is the second year The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F— has made the top five, moving up two places from third in 2017,” Director, Libraries ACT, Vanessa Little said.

“Library members have demonstrated a continuing interest in non-fiction titles for a third year running, with self-help books, memoirs and travel books comprising all five of the top five requested books.”

The most popular books in ACT libraries last year were all non-fiction books.

The most requested books (fiction and non-fiction) in ACT public libraries in 2018 were:

  1. ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F—: A counterintuitive approach to living a good life’ by Mark Manson
  2. ‘The Barefoot Investor: The only money guide you’ll ever need’ by Scott Pape
  3. ‘12 Rules For Life: An Antidote For Chaos’ by Jordan Peterson
  4. ‘The Trauma Cleaner: One woman’s extraordinary life in death, decay and disaster’ by Sarah Krasnostein
  5. ‘Saga Land’ by Richard Fidler and Kári Gíslason

The most requested DVD last year, Big Little Lies, is an American HBO television drama series based on Liane Moriarty’s bestselling book and tells the story of three ‘emotionally troubled’ women.

Canberrans favoured fiction over non-fiction when it came to the borrowing DVDs, with a particular interest in movies based on books or comics – with four of the top five DVDs being adaptations.

The most requested DVDs in 2018 were:

  1. Big Little Lies
  2. The Crown: The Complete First Season
  3. Paddington 2
  4. Thor Ragnarok
  5. Blade Runner 2049

The most requested items in other categories included: ‘Gut’ by Guila Enders (eBook), ‘Here We Are: Notes for living on planet earth’ by Oliver Jeffers (picture book), ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’ by Gail Honeyman (adult fiction), ‘Trials of Morrigan Crow’ by Jessica Townsend (junior fiction), and ‘The Hate U Give’ by Angie Thomas (young adult fiction).

Around 2.6 million items are borrowed each year from ACT public libraries.

“Reading is the perfect leisure activity to turn to all throughout the year, including during the holidays,” said Ms Little.

“I encourage all Canberrans to visit their local library and discover the many resources on offer.

“Members can access music downloads, eBooks, digital magazines and newspapers, eAudio books and much more.”

For more information on Libraries ACT and to see the full lists of books requested in 2017 and suggested books for 2018, visit www.library.act.gov.au


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